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340                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
Kuli was a hamlet termed Kupkan, situated on the south
side of the Allah ho Akbar range, on the road which runs
from Kiichan to Darragaz. There he earned his living
by; making sheepskin coats, and by grazing a few sheep
" and- goats near his village in the summer and in the
warmer plains to the north in winter. Imam Kuli and
his wife were moving with the members of their tribe
from the heights of the Allah ho Akbar range to the
'neighbourhood of low-lying Abivard in the autumn of
noo  (1688)5 and when  they were  encamped  close to
the little town of Mohamedabad,1 the future Shah was
born.
His Captivity and Escape.—The youth of Nadir Kuli
was spent in tending flocks and bringing in fuel on an
ass and a camel which constituted the sole patrimony of
his family after the death of his father. When he was
about eighteen years of age, he and his mother were
carried off by a raiding party of Uzbegs to Khiva, where
four years later his mother died in slavery. The young
Nadir Kuli contrived to escape and returned penniless to
Khorasan, where he climbed the first step up the ladder
of success by entering the service of Baba Ali Beg,
Ahmadlu Afshar, who was Governor of Abivard, at that
period the capital of the district.2
Appointment to Abivard.—Malik Mahmud, after
leaving Isfahan to its fate, as mentioned in Chapter
LXVIIL, had soon found an opportunity of seizing
Meshed, which had fallen a prey to anarchy. Once
secure in his possession of the sacred city, he prepared a
crown fashioned like that of the Keianis, and established
himself as an independent ruler with a regular army of
infantry, artillery, and cavalry. It happened that in the
absence of Baba Ali Beg, one of his mamurs or officials
came to Abivard and ill-treated the family of the Governor.
Nadir Kuli immediately came to the rescue and killed the
official. His master, upon his return, was in great
perplexity ; but Nadir with remarkable courage proposed
1  This is now termed Kola Kuhna, or "Old Fort," and Is perhaps a mile from the
present town.
2  Abivard or Bavard is now a ruin, situated in the vicinity of Kahkha on the Central
Asian Railway.